Looking at the Movies Anywhere Service
Almost every major Hollywood movie studio has teamed up to make digital movies available through one app that you can watch on any device
Almost every major Hollywood movie studio has teamed up to make digital movies available through one app that you can watch on any device. The all-in-one Movies Anywhere app is backed by Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
The revolutionary agreement between these studios allows you to merge your movies into a single digital library for the first time in history. The app stores and plays movies purchased from iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon and plays them back on compatible devices.
Merge your Movie Library
Once you create an account, any movie you buy from these participating Hollywood studios will show up in the Movies Anywhere app. You can then watch your new movie on Android, iOS, Roku, Chromecast and many other compatible devices. The service applies to any digital movies you already own as well as new purchases.
If you decide to link your iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, or Vudu account, then any movies you already own will also show up in Movies Anywhere. The real game changer is that those movies will also be available to watch on any account you have linked. This feature alone is enough to sway my decision.
Imagine that you bought a movie from Amazon because it was on sale, but you own ten movies on iTunes, and you have two from Google Play. Movies Anywhere makes your movies available everywhere. Regardless of where you originally purchased the movie, the film will appear in each service that you’ve connected and in the Movies Anywhere app.
Watch it Where You Want
For the first time in history, you can watch a movie that you purchased on iTunes on a non-Apple device, like a Roku or Xbox. You will have access to your entire library of digital movies on any compatible platform. Watch your favorite movies through the Movies Anywhere app or within the native service at no additional cost.
As an example, imagine you purchased a movie on iTunes, but you want to watch it on your Xbox. You can watch eligible Movie Anywhere content from the major movie studios on the Vudu app on your Xbox. If you purchased an eligible title on Amazon, you could watch it on iTunes.
Even better, Movie Anywhere lets you stream them or save them offline to watch when you don’t have Internet access.
It’s free to create an account for US residents age 13 and above. Using the service is free of charge because there is no subscription fee. You don’t purchase movies from Movies Anywhere, so there is no cost involved in using the service.
Think of the app as a storage locker for digital movies you’ve purchased from other retail outlets. Clicking the “buy” button on Movies Anywhere will simply show you which retailers have the video for you to purchase it. So you’re free to buy the movie from whatever retail platform offers you the best price, without having to worry about when and where you can play it back.
Read the end-user licensing agreements and permissions for the app and the services to see privacy policies and which services are collecting and collating data about your preferences and habits.
For the Whole Family
Movie lovers can have five subaccounts in addition to the Master account. The Master account is the only one authorized for purchases of new movies.
Parents can restrict viewing privileges of subaccounts by age or rating, giving parents the opportunity to limit younger viewers’ choices to G, PG, PG-13, or R ratings. The setting affects that user profile across devices, so your 11-year-old won’t have access to different movies by choosing a separate device.
Four family members can watch different movies on the service at the same time on separate devices.
Download or Stream
The app makes it easy to start watching on one device and finish it on another by syncing progress across devices. So if you stop watching a movie on Roku and want to watch it on your iPad while you cook dinner, you can pick right up where you left off.
An advantage over traditional ownership is that two people can watch the same movie at the same time on separate devices. Movies that you originally purchased in HD will stream in HD, while others will stream in standard definition.
You can even opt to download movies and watch them offline on compatible devices. Simply save it for offline viewing in the Movie Anywhere app. The app maximizes flexibility for families by allowing you to download movies to eight devices at once, even though the restriction that limits you to two concurrent streams will still be in effect. Other restrictions require you to login to the app every 90 days to keep the download from expiring.
Movies Anywhere is for people 13 and older who are residents of the United States and its territories. The app can be used to stream and download movies while traveling internationally, but the account must be created in the U.S. It’s also available to military members stationed outside of the US as long as registration is completed on a military-operated Internet connection.
Consumers can access their library on the app which is available for iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle, Chromecast, Android phone/tablet/TV devices, and the NVidia Shield TV running Android OS 5.1 or later and Google Play services 7.3 or later. It also works on all major web browsers on Windows PCs and Macs but isn’t supported on browsers used by mobile devices. Additional details about supported devices are on the Movies Anywhere website.
In a world that is quickly moving to cord-cutting, subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu made three times as much as traditional movie sales in 2017. Movie studios are hoping that this will make them more competitive in a world where streaming is the norm.
The convenience factor of having many popular titles available cross-platform is enough incentive for me to sign up. Movies Anywhere is also sweetening the deal by offering five movies at no charge for new users for a limited time.
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